Updated December 4, 2017
Buying life insurance has never been easier. Jump online, enter a few details about yourself and answer some questions, and you can be comparing quotes from a dozen different life insurance companies in minutes.
But maybe you’re not quite ready to buy just yet. So what do you do with those life insurance quotes? Save them and revisit them later, like you’d do for a plane ticket you’re not ready to pull the trigger on. But while you might know what you’re looking for in a plane ticket, you may be less sure of what to take into account when you revisit the options you've saved for your life insurance quotes.
If you've been putting off buying life insurance and aren't quite sure how to choose the best option, here's what to keep in mind when you come back to re-evaluate your quotes.
Compare your quotes
A prudent shopper always compares prices! You'll get different rates from each life insurance company, so it's important to look at all of your options, and it's why an independent broker like PolicyGenius is so valuable – we do all of the "shopping around" for you so you can see all of your life insurance quotes in one place.
But some life insurance shoppers want to compare policies between brokers, too, and others want to buy directly from the life insurance company. That’s why they saved quote in the first place – to compare them against other offers.
That’s understandable, but ultimately incorrect. Life insurance isn’t like other products where going to a different store can get you a better deal. What most people don’t realize is that a) life insurance prices are regulated by government and industry groups, and b) the cost of commission is baked into the price.
That means if you find an appealing policy, you pay the same price whether you buy it from PolicyGenius, your local agent, or even the life insurance company themselves. (That’s right, not even the carrier can discount their own prices.) There are a lot of ways to judge where to buy – the online process, the customer service, and so on – but price isn’t one of them.
Calculate your coverage
Another reason people hold off on buying a life insurance policy is that they want to make sure they’re getting the right amount of coverage. Maybe you wanted to get an idea of what a policy would cost, but you didn’t seriously sit down and crunch the numbers to calculate your coverage needs. Accurately calculating your coverage needs is important. Buy too much and you can overpay. Buy too little and you're underinsured.
When you come back to your saved quotes, make sure you’ve calculated your coverage correctly, and don’t be afraid to play around with term lengths and benefit amounts to see if your new coverage needs fit into your budget.
Life insurance is meant to cover expenses for your dependents so they don’t suffer financially if you’re not around to provide for them. That means immediate day-to-day costs, but also funding future plans like college and retirement.
Calculating your life insurance coverage needs is a pretty straightforward process if you know what to look at. We like to break it down into five financial obligations you should consider:
- Childcare (or care for other dependents, like elderly parents)
- Debt (primarily your mortgage, but also student loans or other cosigned debts)
- End of life expenses
- Financial cushion
If you want to make this process even easier, use our free life insurance coverage calculator. This will let you input your assets and debts, see how much life insurance you’ll need to replace and cover everything, and see where your insurance gaps are.
When you’re confident with the coverage you should have, look at your saved quotes. Should the term length be longer or shorter, or are you underinsured (or even overinsured)? If so, play around with different variables and make sure the policies you’re looking at are still within your budget.
Life insurance is something that lasts for decades, so it’s important that you’re comfortable with your policy and confident that it’s the right one. It’s not something you should take lightly, but once you know how to calculate your coverage need, it’s easy to figure out.
Get covered quickly
A common excuse for not buying life insurance: "I just haven’t gotten around to it yet."
That’s understandable. You have enough to do between work, taking care of kids, and a seemingly never-ending to-do list. Life insurance protects you for decades, but actually buying it can feel like the least urgent task you have.
That’s why some people put off revisiting their life insurance quotes. Getting the quotes was easy enough, but comparing a handful of quotes and settling on one feels overwhelming. Luckily, PolicyGenius makes it easy by allowing side-by-side comparisons.
That’s right: not only can you see all of your options, but you can compare them right next to each other to make an apples-to-apples comparison. Price, coverage, riders, and even things like a company’s A.M. Best financial rating are all right there so you know exactly what your options are. If you have two similar policies but see that one doesn’t have the disability waiver of premium rider you want, you know right away which is the better choice for you.
"Sure," you say, "applying is easy, but it’s getting coverage that takes forever!"
It’s true that it can take up to eight weeks for your policy to be approved and go into effect. If that’s a concern, look for accelerated underwriting policies when you’re revisiting your saved quotes. This is a type of policy that uses a lot of third-party information to make the underwriting process go much more quickly; in fact, you’re able to skip the medical exam entirely, which is where the hold up is on a lot of policies.
So the next time you think about taking another look at your life insurance quotes and your immediate next thought is, "I’ll get to that later," remember that it won’t take as long as you think to finish applying or get through the underwriting process.
Get expert help
All of this sounds great, but you still might not be entirely confident in your ability to reassess your saved quotes. But that shouldn’t be a hurdle to finishing the application process, because you don’t have to do it alone.
Technology has definitely made shopping for life insurance easy, but for a lot of people "online" equals "not talking to any people." That doesn’t have to be the case. When you come back to revisit your quotes, there’s always a PolicyGenius licensed expert on hand to answer any questions you have about your quotes, coverage, or policy options.
And even after you apply, we’re not done helping you yet. Some life insurance companies are more accommodating toward some health conditions than others; if you aren’t satisfied with the final rates one company gives you, we’ll work with other insurers to find the perfect match. That's what so many people find valuable about using PolicyGenius.
Saving your life insurance quote is a good thing to do so you can take some time to reflect on your decision. But not finishing the process, or not taking the steps to ensure you’re making the right choice, isn’t doing you or your family any good. Buying life insurance today means protecting your family for decades, and if you’ve already saved quotes you’re halfway there. Why not finish the job?